There are many modern conveniences which we may not truly need but which remain quite useful. I would be lost without my computer, or the internet, or my television or a host of other gadgets and services. I value each of these things and use them every day, even though they may add a little bit of cost to my budget. I suspect you use such conveniences as well. Where I am sure we differ, however, is that I will not use a cell phone and you probably cannot be separated from yours!
In general, and with one exception that I shall explain later, I believe that there is no legitimate reason to use a cell phone. If you use a cell phone in my presence you will immediately drop a few rungs on the ladder of my esteem. If you call me on a cell phone, you can be assured that you will not get either my business or a return call. If you employ me and tell me to carry a cell phone, I shall politely decline, regardless of the risk to my job.
You probably have a cell phone plan and, I assure you, you are wasting your money and jeopardizing your health. You are also very likely rude, whether or not you realize it. If you are reasonable, I hope that you will consider all of the reasons there are not to own a cell phone and get rid of yours as soon as your carrier allows you to do so!
There is No Need for 24/7 Access
Growing up, we had one land line in my home. There were four of us and we got on quite well without the need for a personal telephone number for everyone in the house. For that matter, we did not have call waiting or voicemail. If the phone were busy, the caller would call back later. The world did not end just because one of us could not be reached the first time a caller tried to reach us. If it were a true emergency, an operator (an actual human being) could break into the call anyway.
Why then, must everyone in a household now have their own cell phones that they carry with them wherever they go? There is no reason for it. Instead of a single phone line, which might cost $50 per month, the telephone industry has persuaded people the world over that every house needs to have phones and phone numbers for everyone old enough to press the buttons on a keypad. With add ons like internet and texting, people everywhere may be paying hundreds of dollars per month just so that they can take phone calls when they wander about outside the home or office. Give up the cell phone and put that money back in your pocket and you will really find that no one had anything to say to you anyway!
Cell Phones May Cause Health Problems
The incidence of certain brain cancers is on the rise. Studies have recently suggested that cell phones may be at least in part to blame for the increase. Indeed, when a friend was admitted to the hospital after being diagnosed with a tumor, doctors asked him if he used a cell phone a lot and if he generally used the cell phone on the same side of his head that developed the tumor. For that matter the head of a hospital in Pittsburgh recently sent a memo to all staff members urging them not to use cell phones unless absolutely necessary. And it is not just the brain that is at risk, another recent study suggests that men who keep a cell phone in their front trouser pockets may be increasing the risk of having damaged sperm.
Decades ago, the tobacco industry concealed risks from tobacco from unsuspecting consumers. The phone industry is also large and has a vested interest in preserving its cell phone user base. Think what studies might definitively demonstrate over the coming years of the dangers of cell phone use. Give up your cell phone and avoid unnecessary medical problems and the costs that come with them!
Cell Phones Make Driving Dangerous
A quick search of the internet reveals numerous legitimate studies which conclude that cell phone use – even cell phone use up to 10 minutes before an accident – significantly increases a driver’s risk of being involved in an accident resulting in injury. Apart from the risk of serious injury, use of cell phones while driving can greatly increase your risk of incurring costs through accidents. This has been demonstrated both with traditional cell phones and with hands free models. Give up your cell phone and avoid unnecessary motor vehicle accidents and the costs that come with them!
The Hidden Charges of Cell Phones
If you own a cell phone, chances are you also have a case for your cell phone and perhaps other gadgets that go along with your cell phone. Cell phone accessories cost money that you do not really need to spend. Your land line does not require accessories. Give up your cell phone and never spend another penny on accessories for a phone!
The Opportunity Costs of Cell Phones
If you carry a cell phone, you probably only need access to it when you are doing something out of your office or home. If you are doing something outside of your office during business hours, you should be doing something meaningful. Whether that means you are with a client or recharging your own batteries at lunch, you should be focused on the task at hand. Cell phones only allow you to introduce distraction where you need focus. Address the matter at hand and leave phone calls to a later time when you can check voice mail messages at work. Unless you are a doctor waiting to perform crucial surgery or you have some significant role in national security, chances are you are just not important enough to need to be available all the time.
If you are doing something outside of your home during your own time, you have even less justification for needing a cell phone. I have yet to encounter a person having a meaningful conversation on a cell phone. If you cannot go to a grocery store and decide what to buy when you get to the produce aisle, you should not be grocery shopping. If your child is old enough to be left home unattended, you should be able to trust that your child is old enough to handle any problem that comes along or you should not be leaving your child at home.
Regardless of where you are using your cell phone, you are distracting yourself from whatever it is that you are doing. Give up your cell phone and attend to matters at hand!
The Exception that Proves the Rule
I agree that there is one occasion when it does not hurt to have a cell phone, and that is during an emergency. If you are going to be driving until 3am and you do not have On-Star in your car, having a pre-paid cell phone can be a true safety net. Similarly, if your kids are venturing out on their own and you really worry about their safety because of where they will be (and assuming you cannot prevent them from being there), it is not a bad idea to give them a pre-paid cell phone so that they can reach you. That said, those pre-paid phones should only be used in the event of a true emergency and not for any other reason.
Can you give up your cell phone to save hundreds of dollars per year or more?